CHENNAI: In a sign that the country’s nuclear power plans have their best chance of succeeding at Kudankulam, Russia is all set to sign the general framework agreement for construction of third and the fourth units of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu by the end of 2016.
Announcing this from Moscow through video-conferencing in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said this February, work at the construction sites of the third and fourth units had begun. “We expect that by this year-end the general framework agreements will be signed,” Putin said.
Soon after India signed the nuclear agreement with US, it had envisaged nuclear power parks at various sites –each using one commercial nuclear power technology such as Russia’s VVER, France’s PWR and so on. While projects at other sites have stalled, Kudankulam, despite the agitations and other hurdles, seems to be on course.During the ceremony , Jayalalithaa spoke of her government’s efforts in building confidence among the local population on the plant. Later, Modi, reiterating the Russian President’s state ment on “privileged strategic partnership” between the two countries, said, “In years ahead, we are determined to pursue an ambitious agenda of nuclear power generation… At Kudankulam alone, five more units of 1,000 MW.”
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power station in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil NaduSuryakant
Earlier, Jayalalithaa, who spoke ahead of the two leaders, said: “Throughout my tenures in office as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, I have always extended support to the implementation of the Kudankulam Project while at the same time laying emphasis on allaying the fears of the local people by convincing them about the safety aspects of the plant,” she said.When the commissioning of the first unit of the project was getting delayed due to agitations, she said, “I took up the matter with the Union government to ensure that the fears and concerns of the people were addressed.”
“The government of TN resolved to take steps for the early commissioning of the KNPP and to allocate `500 crore for the development of work in the areas neighbouring Kudankulam. Due to the confidence building measures undertaken by my government, Unit I of the KNPP has started commercial operation,”